Steven M. Altschuler Named Senior Vice President of Health Affairs and CEO of UHealth

UM News

Steven Altschuler

Steven M. Altschuler

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (November 24, 2015)—Steven M. Altschuler, a renowned physician and health care administrator who served as president and chief executive officer of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and The Children’s Hospital Foundation for the past 15 years, has been named senior vice president of health affairs at the University of Miami and chief executive officer of UHealth-University of Miami Health System.

In his new position, Altschuler will be responsible for the strategic and operational leadership of the University’s clinical delivery system, which includes the University’s hospitals, faculty practice plan, and clinics. He will report directly to UM President Julio Frenk and fulfill an advising role to the executive vice president and provost of the University, the senior vice president of business and finance and chief financial officer of the University, and the Board of Trustees in order to provide strategic leadership to align clinical and research investments.

Miller School of Medicine Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, the founder of UHealth and dean since 2006, will continue to serve as the head of the school, providing academic leadership to its educational and research missions.

“I am extremely grateful for the University’s confidence in me to lead this amazing system, along with the help of a skilled and dedicated team. The opportunity to be part of the institution during such an innovative era in health care and scientific research is exciting,” said Altschuler, who begins his new post on January 1, 2016.

“Steven Altschuler has a wealth of experience as a leader in both health care administration and the delivery of excellent and compassionate patient care. As senior vice president of health affairs, he will spearhead UHealth’s continued advancement as a world-class academic medical enterprise serving the Americas and beyond,” said President Frenk. “We are grateful to Dean Goldschmidt, who has been instrumental in the Miller School’s progress as one of the nation’s top medical schools and will continue to provide leadership in our academic and research efforts.”

Altschuler led CHOP’s transformation from a traditional academic medical center into a world leader in pediatric health care, research, education, and advocacy for children, with strong ties to the University of Pennsylvania. The organization has approximately 14,000 employees, including nearly 1,200 full-time physicians and researchers, at 50 different care sites in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. In FY 2015, the foundation, hospital, and affiliates had approximately $5.4 billion in assets and $115 million in charitable contributions. Research expenditures were approximately $340 million, and the hospital supported the clinical and research training of 135 residents and 275 fellows. Since 2003, with the exception of only two years, U.S. News & World Report has ranked CHOP the No. 1 children’s hospital in the nation.

Altschuler was associated with CHOP as a postdoctoral fellow in 1982, becoming an assistant physician in 1984 and serving as chair of the Department of Pediatrics and physician-in-chief of CHOP from 1997-2000. He also was a faculty member in the Department of Pediatrics at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania from 1985-2000. Since retiring from CHOP in June 2015, Altschuler has been board chair of Spark Therapeutics, a leading gene therapy company that is a spinoff of the Center of Cellular and Molecular Therapeutics at CHOP.

Altschuler received his B.A. in mathematics from Case Western Reserve University and his M.D. from the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. He was an intern and resident at Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Boston before serving as a postdoctoral fellow at CHOP.

“The recruitment of an esteemed leader like Dr. Altschuler reflects the continued momentum at the University of Miami and UHealth, as we seek to grow and improve our University’s contribution to our great city. This appointment is the latest step in the evolution of UHealth as a world-class medical enterprise that is driven to excel in both patient care and patient experience,” said Stuart Miller, chair of the UM Board of Trustees.Dean

Goldschmidt said it is a pleasure and an honor to pass the baton for UHealth and UM health affairs to Altschuler, whom he described as “an extraordinarily accomplished leader of medicine for the 21st century.”

“His past accomplishments are simply formidable, and our institution will benefit immensely from his expertise and talent,” Goldschmidt said. “I am delighted to have a chance to refocus all of my attention on the Miller School of Medicine and work with our faculty, staff, students, and trainees who are doing a fabulous job in promoting our ascension in the ranks of top-tier U.S. medical schools. All of us at the medical center are deeply grateful to President Frenk and the Board of Trustees for the recruitment of Steven Altschuler.”

As South Florida’s only academic-based health system, UHealth combines patient care, research, and education to create a leading-edge approach to health care. UHealth’s comprehensive network includes three hospitals: Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Miami Hospital, and Bascom Palmer Eye Institute; more than a dozen outpatient facilities in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and Collier counties; and more than 1,500 physicians and scientists.

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Miami Law Alumnus Named Microsoft General Counsel

By Mary Lynn Lyke
Special to UM News

Horacio Gutierrez 2013

Horacio Gutierrez

CORAL GABLES. Fla. (November 10,2015)—Microsoft Corporation has elevated Miami Law alumnus Horacio Gutierrez to the post of general counsel. Gutierrez, who joined the leading tech company after earning his J.D. from the University of Miami in 1998, has served as Microsoft’s corporate vice president and deputy general counsel since 2006. As general counsel, he will head Microsoft’s large team of legal, regulatory, and corporate affairs professionals throughout the globe.

Robert T. Maldonado, national president of the Hispanic National Bar Association, called Gutierrez “a role model to Latino law students and lawyers across the country.”

When he came to the University of Miami School of Law, Gutierrez already had three legal degrees. He was also a full-time international consultant for a Miami law firm. But the native Venezuelan needed a J.D. degree before he could sit for the state bar, so he signed onto an exhausting schedule at Miami Law.

He studied at night, on weekends, in the summer, working full time, helping raise his family, and graduating summa cum laude. “Were it not for the understanding that the dean of the law school and the dean of students had of my situation, the flexibility they showed, the mentorship they offered me to be able to navigate the requirements, I may not have gone to law school and attained a J.D. anywhere in the U.S.,” said Gutierrez, a distinguished 50-year-old who speaks with a light Latin American lilt, his hands emphasizing his words.

Since 2006 he has held the influential role of corporate vice president and deputy general counsel in charge of Microsoft’s worldwide intellectual property group, responsible for protecting, developing, and maintaining a massive portfolio of more than 37,000 patented innovations. In this role, Gutierrez waged and won his share of fierce legal battles protecting Microsoft’s patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets. It’s a Herculean task at a company that invests more than $10 billion a year on research and development innovations.

But he became best known for his skills as a savvy deal-maker, an IP boss whose Microsoft team would rather negotiate than litigate, cutting headline-grabbing licensing agreements with the Novells, Nokias, and Samsungs of the high-tech world.

Licensing agreements allow companies to use intellectual property rights as a kind of currency to trade with one another and make deals in a “business-like manner,” outside courts, said Gutierrez.

Bartering IP rights is a new way of doing business in an era of rapid-fire technological advances. It speeds products to market faster and spurs innovation, said Gutierrez. Several decades ago, a company might have created every component of its products in-house. Today, a single product from a company can have patented components from hundreds of companies.

Gutierrez points to the smartphone, which contains what might have been dozens of devices a decade ago. It’s a phone, a digital music player, a GPS device, a high-definition camera, and video recorder. Apply a software-enabled app and it can be almost anything: flashlight, star-finder, Scrabble board, drawing tablet. All those separate components are developed by separate companies with separate patents, linked through a 21st-century labyrinth of licensing.

“When you get any consumer electronics product in your house—a television set, a stereo—you pull it out, unwrap it, plug it into the wall, and you start using it. You can feel it, see it, touch it. What you don’t see is the intricate web of intellectual property licensing arrangements that preceded the purchase of the device by you and existed among dozens of Asian, European, and U.S. companies,” said the Miami Law alumnus, who was named the No. 1 most influential global IP market maker by the Intellectual Asset Management Report.

Along with a reputation for making deals, Gutierrez, who was the Hispanic National Bar Association Region XVI President for Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington from 2012 to 2014, has earned a reputation for making a difference in his field. He founded the groundbreaking HNBA/Microsoft Intellectual Property Law Institute, a week-long program that introduces Latino law students to the profession and its practitioners. The goal is to boost what he describes as the “severely” low number of Hispanics practicing IP law.

“The HNBA is proud that such an active and committed member of the HNBA family continues to rise through the ranks of the corporate legal and tech community,” said Maldonado. “We commend Horacio not only for his professional achievements, but also for his dedication to advancing the cause of diversity and inclusion in the legal profession.”

Gutierrez grew up a lawyer’s son in Maracaibo, Venezuela. At the age of 16, he talked his parents into letting him move to the capital of Caracas to study law at the prestigious Universidad Católica Andrés Bello; on summer break, he enrolled in his first software coding class and “fell in love.”

At the Caracas university, he earned two degrees: a bachelor of laws degree and a specialization diploma in corporate and commercial law. Degree No. 3 brought him to America for studies as a Fulbright Scholar at Harvard Law School. He earned his LL.M. there in 1991.

Studying for his fourth degree at Miami Law, Gutierrez, who’d come from a civil law background in Venezuela, immersed himself in the U.S. common law system, taking foundational courses in constitutional law, contracts, torts, and other building blocks of the American legal system. He weighed the two systems, studying differences and commonalities. “For me, every class was an exercise in comparative law.”

He describes the environment at Miami Law as encouraging and supportive. Over the course of his studies, his professors became his mentors and his friends. Many remain so today. “That experience is unlike anything I had anywhere else,” said Gutierrez, who has also served as adjunct lecturer at the school and in 2013 was named Lawyer for the Americas by the school’s Inter-American Law Review.

Gutierrez had just graduated from Miami Law when Microsoft started calling. He signed on in 1998 as lead attorney for corporate and commercial legal matters in most of Latin America and the Caribbean. The software giant’s “cutting-edge legal opportunities” have immersed him in everything from international contracts to cross-border counterfeiting, government surveillance, telecommunications, and privacy rights. Before taking the IP lead, he had a four-year stint in Paris as associate general counsel for Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. More recently he had taken on a new leadership role as corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of Microsoft’s products and services group.

A year before his promotion to general counsel was announced this November 6, the keen legal scholar told Miami Law Magazine he was ready for whatever came next. “No one at Microsoft has put a limitation on what I am expected to do,” he said. “And I certainly haven’t put one of myself.”

An earlier version of this article originally appeared in the Fall 2014 issue of Miami Law Magazine.



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Allan Levi Named Chair of the Department of Neurological Surgery

Special to UM News

MIAMI, Fla. (September 29, 2015) — Allan D. Levi, M.D., Ph.D., has been named chair of the Department of Neurological Surgery at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

Levi, who holds appointments in neurological surgery, orthopedics, and rehabilitation medicine, joined the Miller School in 1997. “Allan’s career has been a model of excellence in every aspect of academic neurosurgery—clinical care, research, teaching, and administration,” said Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., senior vice president for medical affairs and dean of the Miller School of Medicine and CEO of UHealth. “He is the ultimate surgeon-scholar. I know that with Allan at the helm, the Department of Neurological Surgery will continue to grow exponentially and to deliver world-class performance at every level.” Read the full story

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Khemraj Hirani Named Associate Vice Provost for Human Subject Research


Khemraj “Raj” Hirani

Special to UM News

Khemraj Hirani, director of regulatory affairs and quality assurance at the Diabetes Research Institute, has been named associate vice provost for human subject research. As associate vice provost, Hirani will be responsible for overall leadership of the Human Subject Research Office (HSRO), overseeing the activities of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) committees and of the HSRO staff, and acting as a liaison between the IRB and the research communities of the University of Miami.

Hirani succeeds Dushyantha Jayaweera,who was recently named interim executive dean for research and research education of the Miller School of Medicine.

“Dr. Hirani brings a wealth of experience in clinical research, regulatory affairs, IRB functions, and business processes to his new role,” said John Bixby, vice provost for research. “I am confident that he will be able to build on the foundation left by Dr. Jayaweera to bring our IRB and the HSRO to the next level.”

Known as “Raj,” Hirani graduated from the College of Pharmaceutical Sciences in Manipal, India, in 1999 and received advanced training in pharmacology at RIKEN Brain Science Institute in Wako-shi, Japan, the National Brain Research Center in India, and the Department of Anatomy at the College of Medicine at the University of South Florida. His research on neuroactive steroids and GABAergic/adenosinergic/serotonergic modulation has been published in leading journals, including Brain Research, Psychopharmacology, Neuropharmacology, British Journal of Pharmacology, European Journal of Pharmacology and Nature Neuropsychopharmacology.

Hirani has served on UM’s IRB since 2008. Prior to joining the DRI, he was accountable for more than 350 clinical trials across University hospitals, clinics, and satellites at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, Sylvester at Deerfield Beach, and Sylvester at Plantation. In addition to serving HSRO as a drug safety expert, he has been an invited expert on multiple committees across UHealth, including the Sylvester Data and Safety Monitoring Committee, Clinical Research Services (CRS) Advisory Committee, CRS Protocol Review Committee, Clinical Research Feasibility Committee, and UM Conflict of Interest Committee.

“I have been an IRB member for many years, and I’m a strong proponent of its efforts to assist investigators conduct research with high ethical standards,” Hirani said. “I look forward to partnering with the dedicated and expert board members and our talented staff at the HSRO. I am excited to be part of the mission of the VPR office to promote and guide research involving human subjects that provides social value by advancing scientific understanding and promoting human welfare, leading to improvements in health care.”


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Wendy Cavendish Selected as Visiting Research Scholar at the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute


Wendy Cavendish

Wendy Cavendish, associate professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning at the School of Education and Human Development, has been selected as Visiting Research Scholar at the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute for the 2015-16 academic year.

Affiliated with the City University of New York, the Roosevelt House honors the distinguished legacy of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt by focusing on a three-fold mission: to educate students in public policy and human rights, to support faculty research, and to foster creative dialogue. The institute provides opportunities for students to analyze public policy and experience meaningful civic engagement; for faculty to research, teach, and write about important issues of the day; and for scholarly and public audiences to participate in high-profile lectures, seminars, and conferences.

Cavendish will collaborate with Roosevelt House Faculty Associate Jennifer Samson on a project analyzing the legislative impacts of improving inequality. Their project, Intersections of Inequality: Legislative Legacies of Poverty, Race, Language, and Disability in Educational Policy, examines the enduring effects of legislation intended to address structural inequalities. Samson and Cavendish will analyze data on implementation outcomes, as well as the intended and unintended consequences of these educational policies. Their work will culminate in a policy report and a symposium that brings together researchers, practitioners, and policy makers.


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